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2013 Utah State
Schedule and Odds
Utah State is another one of the Mountain West schools who has a great quarterback. Because of that and 15 other returning starters, the Aggies should be able to compete in their first year in the MWC. The problem is that they lost a 1,500-yard rusher and head coach Gary Andersen. Matt Wells steps up as head coach after being with the team on the offensive side since 2011.
The offensive line returns all starters and even the tight end. With a lot of talent leaving, the line will be the strength on this side of the ball. Kerwynn Williams totaled 20 TDs and 2,209 yards last year so his absence will definitely hurt. Joe Hill comes in as the new running back and has big shoes to fill. Four of their other top receivers are also gone. Quarterback Chuckie Keeton may have to do it all for this offense which isn't out of reach. He threw for 27 TDs last year while also running it in eight times. Keeton knows he'll have to shoulder a lot of the load, but his receivers will also need to step up.
Todd Orlando comes in as the new defensive coordinator for the Aggies and brings plenty of experience. The defense that allowed just over 15 points per game last year returns seven starters including a full crew of linebackers that led the team. Jake Doughty and Zach Vigil both had over 100 tackles in 2012 and could be up for conference honors by season's end. Orlando uses multiple formations which means there's some learning to do, but in the end he should improve an already good squad.
2013 Utah State Football Schedule
Aug. 29 at Utah
Sept. 7 at Air Force
Sept. 14 vs. Weber State
Sept. 21 at USC
Sept. 27 at San Jose State
Oct. 4 vs. BYU
Oct. 12 vs. Boise State
Oct. 19 at New Mexico
Nov. 2 vs. Hawaii
Nov. 9 at UNLV
Nov. 23 vs. Colorado State
Nov. 30 vs. Wyoming
Utah State's only two losses last year came in non-conference games and they were by a combined five points. More trouble could be ahead with road games at Utah and USC. Not to mention, four of their first five games on the year are all on the road. Their first two MWC games will be at Air Force and San Jose State with both games being difficult tasks. They get to play the Spartans less than a week after playing at USC.
The Aggies get a rematch with BYU after last year's loss and this time it's at home. Unfortunately, that game is followed by Boise State who is probably the best team in the conference. If Utah State can grab a home win there, that could open up a possibility at the conference title game for them. Ending the season they'll get bottom half opponents which should be five straight wins.
If the Aggies can get through their first seven games with only two losses, that will be considered a good start. Keeton has the ability, but does he have enough around him to win games over a team like Boise State? Time will tell as Utah State goes for another double-digit win season.
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